Consignment Software Buyer's Guide


Fees? Shhhh!
  In a hurry? Stop! Watch out for
Fees After Purchase!

Types of Software and Providers
 
1. Feeware - Endless charges after purchase. If you're going to be in business for 20 years, then expect to pay from $2,000 (minimum) to $12,000 in 'service fees'.

BCSS™?  No Fees!  "Anything 'wrong' with software should be fixed free of charge. If there's nothing wrong with the software, there's no need for 'service', so why 'service fees'?"

Feeware providers: CCE, Conpro, ConsignmentTill, Liberty, My Sales Manager, Rico, Simple Consign, The Consignment Shop, Traxia (Simple Consign), TriTech (AIMsi)
2. Rentalware - You pay for the use of the software. You don't own it and you can't reuse it.

3. Soloware - In the past 10 years a half dozen or so individuals have tried and failed at selling consignment software 'on the side'. Their customers lost their 'investment' and had to buy and learn another program.

BCSS™? is a software development company!  "We are not programmers and we are not programmer-dependent. We hire independents who specialize in programming and that leaves us to concentrate on service."

Soloists: Everyone but Liberty and BCSS™. Don't be fooled by posers with websites, company names and toll-free numbers. If you're talking to the 'programmer' who is also the 'salesman'...
4. Surpriseware - Costly discoveries (often after the money-back period) of fees and adverse policies which weren't given adequate disclosure prior to purchase.

BCSS™?  No Surprises!  "We provide a written disclosure of prices and policies prior to purchase."

Here's a prime example from CCE in Boulder: Most programs include layaways, special promotions and buy outright (resale) as standard features. These features are included in CCE's $395 program demo which can give the demo user the impression that these features are included in the program and in the price. Upon purchase these features are disabled (without any fanfare). The buyer is left to discover some time later that these features that worked in the demo don't work in the purchased version and he or she must pay an additional $180 to reenable them. Surprise! This sham allows CCE to advertise a $575 program for $395.

Another: As your business grows you'll need more computers which will require additional copies of the software. Each additional copy of BCSS Deluxe™ is $99, Diamond™ or Virtual™: $199. Each additional copy of Liberty or Conpro is $295. With 5 copies of the software Liberty's fees are $600+/year! Conpro: $250. "Back-end loading" What happened to those up-front claims on home pages about being 'competitively priced'?

And another: Some providers herald updates to their software as "FREE!" then do a little arm twisting to make sure fees get paid by withholding those 'free updates' if fees aren't paid. Oh, and service is also denied.

5. Dirtypoolware - The providers with the highest fees won't lower prices and compete fairly in an open market but they do lower themselves to slandering lower-priced competitors and piling on fees after purchase.

BCSS™:  "We provide a free demo so users can determine that the software is right for them without cost, and we confirm the full cost in writing prior to purchase. Over 20 years BCSS™ will cost $400-$600. Liberty or Conpro will cost more than $10,000. Here's their past and present 'ideas' for add-on fees in addition to annual service fees: home copy $295, data conversion $200, credit-card processing 'integration' (totally unnecessary) $245, transfer fee $500, hardware mark ups +40%, shipping charges +5%, cables $15, printer/barcode support $75/incident, computer diagnosis $50/incident, antivirus troubleshooting $75/incident, Windows support $100/HOUR, network support $120/hour, data recovery $150/hour, phone time $100/hour, data storage $72/year, database 'tune up' $69/incident.
6. Trapware - Some consignment software vendors push 'X-Charge' credit-card services. Why? Lowest rates? No. They do it because X-Charge kicks a portion of every sale back to the vendor. Find where that is disclosed on any of their websites or pre-sale materials. (It's a common practice of such vendors to push kick-back services without disclosure, like FormsPlus for forms and labels- https://formsplusinc.com/collections/tags/products/laser-inkjet-labels-nonstick.)

If you were to go the X-Charge route, you'll be trapped, having paid $x,xxx for consignment software 'integrated with X-Charge'. If at some point you want to change to a different credit-card processing system, you won't because you paid $x,xxx for the consignment software and you don't want to lose that money. You would be trapped.

This also applies to annual service fees. Once you're locked into a software program, you can count on frequent increases in the 'annual service fee' and you can expect to be hit with new fees as these vendors lose market share and attempt to make up their loses by taxing your shop profits.

BCSS™:  You can use any credit-card processor and merchant account because they are completely independent of the consignment software. Credit-card providers often employ a little arm twisting of their own - raising fees as time progresses. If and when that happens, you will have the freedom to take your credit-card business elsewhere and save money while you continue to use BCSS™ uninterrupted.

BCSS™:  has recently been integrated with credit-card processing with the First National Bank of Omaha as the back-end provider. It is not necessary to enroll in this service but rates are lower than most: Visa + .1% + 5c per transaction, no application or termination fees.

Also, BCSS does not have annual service fees, so there are no annual-fee rate increases!

While on this subject, many store owners obtain merchant accounts from their local banks (where they are known and applications are quickly and easily accepted). Many others use First Data Merchant Account Services.
7. Payforeverware - Similar to Feeware but web based.

Web-based means the software is installed on a remote computer (somewhere) and the software program is accessed using a web browser. In addition to the risk of depending upon the Internet to run your business, web-based is slower than computer-installed software, and there's a monthly fee that never ends. Providers of this type of software proffer sales slogans like "Low start-up cost!" and "No long-term contract!" without equally emphasizing that the cost of the software over a short 5-year period can be $6000 to $9000 (depending upon the number of registered users) - and NO equity.
8. Bad Appleware - Every industry has a bad apple and this one is no exception.

Wilson of 'Conpro' was exposed in a public forum for targeting a group of his users for fee extortion. The group had elected not to pay optional annual service fees for the past few years. Wilson offered them an alleged 'free update' to their software which disabled their software a few days later. When contacted about the problem, Wilson refused to unlock the software (remove the 'bug' as he called it) until he was paid off. He bragged in the same forum thread about 'firing' customers when "they cost you more than they earn you". Bad grammar aside, the original post has been removed.


BCSS™ vs the Competition
 
Software providers with big price tags absurdly guarantee that paying (literally) thousands of dollars will yield a better program and better service - no - a superior program and superior service. Nonsense! The fact is, for them it's better to have one person paying $10,000 than 20 people paying $500 - one person to service - not 20.

Software providers with big price tags are fully aware of your situation and they shamelessly exploit it. You're nervous but excited, apprehensive but hopeful, and covered up in details and decisions. Here are just a few strategies to get you hooked into a program that (literally) costs $1,000s:
  1. Hang out in forums and post tid bits of information in hopes of being perceived as the good neighbor who's 'just trying to help'.

  2. Use websites to splatter sales pitches on the home page and scatter fees on sub pages. (Currently it takes 22 mouse clicks to view all of Liberty's fees on their website.) It is vital to your success to know all costs prior to jumping in. Why aren't fees up front where they can be easily found?

  3. Purposely avoid giving proper emphasis to costs which will emerge later on. For example, as your business grows, you'll need more computers to process the business. Each computer will need a copy of the software. Liberty and Conpro: $395 per machine. BCSS™: $99.

  4. Another example: With 5 machines in use, Liberty's MONTHLY service fee increases to $51 ($600+ per year). Conpro fees increase from $125 to $250 per year.

We have 3 competitors who employ slander as part of their attempts to steer our prospective customers away from us: Liberty, Conpro and CCE (Boulder, CO). Liberty circulates a preposterous email with gross misrepresentations of our software. Wilson would have you believe that we have had unhappy customers and we haven't. CCE (Bill Hawkins in hiding) mimics our name (using Best Consignment Software and URLs like bestconsignmentsoftware.com) in hopes of pilfering business from us, so why target us?

We are #1 in the search engines for all keywords related to our business and we have been since our inception in 2001. When people search Google for 'consignment software' they find our site listed first (in the free listings). Our program is absolutely loved by most people who use it. (The ones who aren't thrilled are the ones who also have trouble knowing how to use computers in general.) Sure we've had a few people who were disgruntled. What company hasn't? The simple fact is that over 1,300 BCSS™ users have saved $1,500,000+ (that's one million five hundred thousand dollars) in 8 years by choosing our software and not our competitors'. Our reward is knowing that our competitors will fail in the end and deservedly so.



BCSS™ Service
 
1. Free Service Via Email -

BCSS™ Support via email is free. If there is something wrong with the software, we repair it free of charge. We also assist with the replacement of defective hardware (within 30 days receipt) and warranty repair (3-5 years) for hardware purchased through us. Unlike most OEMs the hardware manufacturer (POS-X, Bellingham WA) is directly accessible at 800-790-8657 or http://www.pos-x.com/support. Dell support can be accessed at http://support.dell.com. We of course don't repair hardware or computers and we don't support other software programs (like Windows).
 
2. Free Service Via Documentation -

Written illustrated information and video/slides presentations:
  • Online video / BCSS™ Overview
  • Online Slide Presentation: What is Consignment Software: An introduction to consignment software. Please allow time for loading.
  • Online Slide Presentation: How to Save on Consignment Software: Money-saving tips on getting the best value in consignment software.
  • Online Slide Presentation: The Consignment Process - A slide presentation showing how consignors, inventory, sales and settlements are processed in BCSS™. Please allow time for loading.
  • Online Slide Presentation: Use BCSS™ to Make Sales - Learns how to use BCSS™ to sell consignments, resales, layaways and rentals.
  • BCSS™ Tutorial - In BCSS™ click on Help then Tutorial.
  • BCSS™ User's Guide - In BCSS™ press the F1 key, or click on the BCSS™ Manual Desktop icon. the manual may be viewed online and it may be printed. the manual may also be downloaded as a ZIP File.
  • BCSS™ Tips - By default tips for users will appear in a pop-up screen when BCSS™ starts. All tips may be viewed under Help, View All Tips.
 
3. Optional Phone Service -

Phone conversations are rarely needed to fix issues with the software. (Actually things like sending files, serial numbers and unlock codes can't be done (easily) by phone. Most BCSS™ users don't experience problems with the software so support, including phone support, is rarely needed. Regardless phone support is available for the first 30 days free or charge ($29/30 minutes thereafter) and unlike our competitors who withhold service and software if service fees aren't paid, phone support is entirely optional.
 
4. Remote PC Access -

With your permission we can access your PC from our location to see what you are seeing and to perform services while you watch. Remote PC Access is an extension of phone support and is often used during the initial learning phase to demonstrate software functions. This form of 'training' is available to your employees as well ($29/30 minutes).


Free eBook

How to Start a Consignment Business has been in circulation in electronic and printed form since 2002. In that time hundreds of readers have found tons of useful information pertaining to things to know prior to opening a consignment shop. The eBook is free to BCSS™ purchasers and may otherwise be viewed and purchased (well under $20).